Summary Edit

The party meet Mr Ceiling: the part computer, brain generated machine that is running the economy of Europe.

Synopsis Edit

Bertie places a note on Dave's back explaining what's going on in the hope someone would see it and Mr Ceiling offers to send other letters out if the party needs.

The Rangers follow the sphere through the complex and through a large set of vault-like doors which open as they approach. The room on the otherside is huge, filled with tall, five-foot columns columns filled with liquid. Hamid investigates one of the columns, which is full of pipes and wires leading to tens of thousands of humanoid brains (23,762 to be exact). 

Mr Ceiling says that he is the ordinator and the brains are him. It explains that it is about 37 years old, doesn't work for the Meritocrats, but that, like the Meritocrats, he protects humanity. It runs the Ordinatists, returning the output for them to return, and has control of most, if not all, of the economy in France and Europe. It organises the fiances of major banks as well as getting involved in transportation. It becomes clear to the party that the brains don't keep most of their original identities, although some parts of them seem to peak through.

Mr Ceiling also says that he missed Sasha and Sasha realises that one of the brains belongs to Brock who gave her the presidential suite, which Mr Ceiling revokes. Mr Ceiling explains that the brains were delivered by men working for Le Gormund(sp?) - a Parisian rival of Barret. 

Zolf asks what it knows about The Simulacrum, it explains that Francois Henri used to talk about it, but that he doesn't really talk anymore since he's had his memory changed so much.

Zolf suggests that it might be worthwhile making contact with the Meritocrats, but Mr Ceiling explains that he's not allowed to, as Francois Henri, his maker, didn't allow him to.

Bertie explains that he's bored and Mr Ceiling offers to play a game with him: a dead human with some limbs replaced with mechanical parts carries a draughts board in.

Zolf asks what it knows about Amelie Rose, who is now in America having 'a good time'. The party ask to meet Francois Henri and Mr Ceiling abliges.

Hamid asks Mr Ceiling where he gets his neutriance from, but it doesn't tell him. The sphere guides them up some stairs, back into Le Arc De Triumph, where the Ordinatists ignore them, going as far as to totally blank them when Bertie picks them up.

They go into Francois Henri's office. Francois is there, who repeatedly says that he can't talk right now and could the party make an appointment. The party explains that Mr Ceiling has killed Francois, at least his mind. Zolf explains Theseus' Ship to Mr Ceiling: if you remove each part of a ship, is it still the ship?

Mr Ceiling becomes convinced that he can travel to the Astral Plain, repair Francois' soul and replace Francois. After some philosophical discussion, Mr Ceiling's robot-zombies tries to kill Francois and Bertie stops him, although after some discussion Bertie bisects him. Bertie then asks how to break the contract with Harkness, Harkness, Darkness and Sphinx.